A New Childhood Classic in the Making?

For the last fifty years (maybe more), children have enjoyed the soothing, rhythmic words and bright, cheerful colors of Goodnight Moon. Most parents even enjoy reading that book aloud. Now, from the author of that old favorite comes a never-before-published manuscript titled The Moon Shines Down.

A prayer for all the world's children, this manuscript was found yellowed with age in an old barn with many other papers the author left behind after her death in 1952. Though it will not compare to the simplicity of Goodnight Moon--the rhyming sometimes is forced, the message and wording are more complex--this new work still captured the attention of my young children.

The illustrator, Linda Bleck, is fantastic--bright colors, simple lines, creative and fun--especially as she takes on the multiple cultures of the world. However, the sheer number of cultures tackled, plus Christmas town and the ocean, give this work a wandering feel. It's too long, too wide-ranging, though the publisher (Thomas Nelson) can be forgiven for trying a bit too hard to complete Brown's original manuscript. If it were a few pages shorter, I'd give it five stars.

The world is one great big family, and the same moon shines down on everyone. Considering our current global mindset, this work seems rather timely.